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MontaVista Targets More CE Devices

Embedded Linux distributor MontaVista Software Tuesday released the latest version of its operating system for consumer devices.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company says its Consumer Electronics Edition (CEE) 3.0. is designed for consumer electronics devices such as mobile phones, advanced PDAs, digital televisions, set-top boxes and automotive telematics.

The initial release will support Texas Instruments OMAP1510 and OMAP5910 applications processors. The company said Linux support packages for the IBM PowerPC 405LP and other platforms will be available in the future.

The company says several of its customers have already started development of devices based on the new software platform.

"Consumer electronics products have evolved into complex, multi-function, networked devices, requiring a robust multi-programming operating system such as Linux," said MontaVista VP of Engineering Kevin Morgan. "We have worked cooperatively with the world's largest consumer electronics companies to understand their design requirements around power management, boot and shutdown times, reliability, responsiveness and memory footprint."

Based on the 2.4.20 Linux kernel, CEE 3.0 incorporates DPM (Dynamic Power Management), support for XIP (eXecute In Place) of the kernel and applications, streaming media optimizations, the O real-time scheduler and new MontaVista graphical tools to measure system performance, timing and memory size. CEE also features bundled, power-management enabled, driver support for peripherals including digital camera, IrDA, SD/MMC cards and USB.

The company says version 3.0 comes with MontaVista Linux kernel, software updates, deployment components, utilities, development tools, access to the MontaVista Zone, comprehensive technical support and hands-on Linux training classes.

"Our Consumer Electronics Edition implements a range of Open Source technologies, integrates them and delivers them in a commercial-grade operating system platform that meets these demanding industry requirements," Morgan said.

Embedded Linux devices have been on the upswing as of late. A recent Evans Group survey found 45 percent of developers surveyed expect to release a Linux application by the end of the year and 14 percent said they have already done so. The vast majority - about 80 percent - said that Linux was important to the embedded system community.

MontaVista in particular has become a hot property when it comes to embedding its Linux in devices. Already the company's software has been picked for future projects including powering mobile phones, PDAs, advanced remote controls, high definition televisions, HDTV, PVRs, set-top boxes, digital receivers, automotive telematics, musical instruments, gaming machines and karaoke systems.

Recently, Sony and NEC released new consumer products built on MontaVista Linux. Several leading manufacturers such as Motorola are also currently building next generation mobile phones based on MontaVista Linux.

Companies such as Netherlands-based Zintec Holding and Araneo in Israel have also chosen MontaVista Linux for their digital television market products.